July 26, 2013

Candace Bushnell. But no Sex.

Today I attended a Business Chicks lunch to hear Candace Bushnell speak. For my Amish readers, Candace Bushnell wrote a little book called Sex And The City which became a rather good TV show. For my non-Amish readers... SEX AND THE CITY! WOO HOOOO!

The event was incredible. There were 1,000 women in the room, successful, strong, independent business women*. The energy in the room was fantastic. The food was absolutely divine. The Skinny Girl cocktails were quite nice, actually (despite being lo-cal). The wine was excellent. Kerri drank too much wine and ended up stumbling home...

But I digress.

The session was a Q&A with Ms Bushnell conducted by Natarsha Belling. Natarsha gave the introduction, and then Ms Bushnell walked onto the stage in a candy pink strapless mini-dress, escorted by a half naked man.

Candace Bushnell has the body of a thirty year old - a super skinny thirty year old. Her body is amazing, and kudos to her. She has the face of a forty year old. I won't speculate on how she achieved that look, but it's young. And she has the gravelly, very slightly tremulous voice of a sixty year old.

She is fifty-four.

She is 54. Seriously.
One could argue that age is irrelevant, but it is still fairly discombobulating to be looking at someone who is fifty-four but looks thirty-forty, sounds sixty, and is wearing a pink strapless mini.

Ms Bushnell answered all questions with practiced grace, but I had the odd sense that I was listening not to her, but to Carrie Bradshaw of the TV series. This was odd because Carrie Bradshaw is very largely a creation of Darren Star, the producer of SATC. The Carrie of the SATC book is very different to the Carrie portrayed by Sarah Jessica Parker on TV. And yet Ms Bushnell seemed to be channelling SJP, so effectively, in fact, that I felt confused by what I was watching.

There were a couple of strangely discordant moments. At one point, Ms Bushnell referred to seeing a man's 'hoo hoo' for the first time. This is the woman who gave us Sex And The City. SEX. Lots of SEX. She was wearing a pink mini and held the arm of a naked man. And she couldn't say 'penis'?

She also talked about how she didn't really approve of teen sex. "I'm a bit of a prude when it comes to teenage sex," she said. But... but... SEX! She IS sex!!! How can she be a prude about anything?

Candace Bushnell has made a massive contribution to pop culture. She wrote a book that generated a TV series that is hugely significant for many women of my generation. I have watched each episode at least three or four times, and some at least five or six. They comfort me. They make me happy. I could watch each episode a dozen times more.

I just got the feeling that Candace Bushnell is still back there in the 90's, forever Carrie living the life in New York. Unlike, JK Rowling, who is working to transcend her Harry Potter roots, she will never move on from the book that made her famous.

But Candace Bushnell is incredibly successful, and seemingly content, and she still fits into a tiny pink mini.

If she could only learn to say 'penis' instead of 'hoo hoo', she'd be completely damn fabulous.

*I was not one of them. I was there as a guest of the Australian Writers Centre. WOO HOOOO!


  1. Hoo ha? Oh dear. Sounds like loads of fun x

  2. In her Brisbane talk, she didn't any reference to boys' bits so can't comment on that but up close I can tell you she does look her age. She said she had botox but I would still have picked her age about mid-50s. She's also no longer living in New York so I suspect the pink strapless minis are few and far between - as are the heels. In the talk I witnessed I wouldn't say she channelled Carrie but maybe after doing Melbourne and now Sydney it was a bit different?

  3. I think she defn. looks her age....as for the body she obviously takes care of herself...she is after all a NYC gal! still age and looks shouldnt be an issue at all...i read her book years ago and enjoyed it and i can see how it was a platform to a much loved series but the book was totally different feel to the TV show...

  4. I am a huge fan of the SATC TV series, yet I didn't like the book (in fact I couldn't even finish it). I have read a couple of her other books and they were pretty good. I wonder if SATC was not the huge hit that it was if she would be 'just another author'. ....

  5. LOVE SATC! Never even tried the book.
    And what the hell is with 'hoo hoo'. I teach my five year old that girls have a vagina and boys have a penis for gods sake!


Thanks! Love hearing from you.

Like it? Share it!